Every city facing infrastructure or operational challenges or concerns about maintaining quality of life in the face of population growth or a changing environment has benefits to gain from a unified smart-city approach. Here are some concepts for promoting understanding and acceptance among utility and government decision-makers, plus several examples of benefits already being garnered by smart cities large and small.
When Chris Adcock became the Executive Director at the Pittsylvania County Service Authority (PCSA) in 2013, he found an aging water system. With customer service concerns and rising costs, Chris started his search for the best water metering solution and found the BEACON® Advanced Metering Analytics (AMA) managed solution from Badger Meter.
Located in the San Joaquin Valley of Northern California, an area hit hard by recent droughts, the City of Merced’s Water System Division appreciates the value of water and successful water management. Strict water mandates, put into effect across California after the historic droughts of 2014 and 2015, along with continuing population growth, made the city’s need for flexible and efficient water management solutions more critical than ever.
Having an eff ective, durable pretreatment system in advance of ion exchange produced-water softening systems is the fi rst, most critical line of defense – ensuring smooth, more troublefree performance downstream.
Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC) Development Services Group reviews hydraulic plans for approximately 160 proposed development plans per year. This includes water and sewer system extensions as well as approximately 172 small-site utility plans (commercial private systems) that connect to the existing water and sewer network in two large Maryland counties.
The Region of Peel is the second-largest Canadian municipality after the city of Toronto, and draws its drinking water from Lake Ontario — the smallest of the five Great Lakes. To meet the projected population increase from 1,160,000 people currently to an estimated 1,571,000 people in 2031, the Region decided to upgrade and expand its water treatment plant. To deal with seasonal taste and odor compounds produced by algae blooms in Lake Ontario, the membrane plant will be equipped with a Trojan UV-Oxidation system.
New technology helps utilities meet the challenges of maintaining a safe and adequate public water supply.
Public Utility District No. 1 of Skagit County (Skagit PUD) in Washington state was at a crossroads, facing a number of challenges related to its meter reading system. Because the utility was using a touch-read/visual-read system, it was highly dependent on its water meter readers’ acquired route knowledge. Two of the PUD’s three meter readers were planning to retire soon, and it would take at least a year to hire and train new employees to fill their experienced shoes. At the same time, the community was growing at a steady pace, and a significant number of its existing meters were reaching the end of their useful lifecycle.
Turbidity is a principal physical characteristic of water and is an expression of the optical property that causes light to be scattered and absorbed by particles and molecules rather than transmitted in straight lines through a water sample. By Randy Turner, Technical Director, Swan Analytical USA
After reports of Naegleria fowleri amoeba being found in some Louisiana municipalities’ drinking water systems, regulators mandated that free chlorine residual be maintained at a minimum of 0.5 mg/L throughout distribution networks in the state. In September 2014, Thornton, Musso & Bellemin Inc. (Zachary, LA) conducted an extensive sanitary survey in a small municipality to establish baseline numbers and troubleshoot hotspots.
Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) are a large group of organic compounds found naturally in the environment. PAHs are monitored by the US Environmental Protection Agency due to their carcinogenic characteristics.
Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD) analysis is the test everyone loves to hate—and for compelling reasons.
In a number of water, wastewater and industrial process applications, pH is one of the most critical and highly sensitive analytical measurements. Examples of critical pH applications include: Reverse Osmosis (RO) systems in which a controlled feed of caustic solution is typically added to the feed stream in order to convert a portion of dissolved carbon dioxide into bicarbonate precipitate allowing for removal by the RO membrane. By Rafik H. Bishara, Steve Jacobs, and Dan Bell
"The variable concentration of solids when purging lamella clarifiers creates problems with sludge dewatering. These problems are exacerbated when changing the flocculant. Read the full application note to learn how automatic control of purge cycles for clarifiers using the Sonatax sludge level probe resulted in reduced energy consumption and maintenance at the plant."
The amount of insoluble matter present in drinking water is an essential quality indicator. Silt, sand, bacteria, spores, and chemical precipitates all contribute to the cloudiness or turbidity of water. Drinking water (DW) which is highly turbid can be unpalatable and unsafe. Consumption of even low concentrations of certain bacteria and other microorganisms can cause serious health effects. Consequently, an accurate and sensitive measurement of turbidity is vital for ensuring that drinking water is free of these contaminants.
The Riviera Grise drains water from the Cul-de-Sac watershed, Haiti, which covers most of the rural areas along the flood plains and areas that extend into steep hillsides. It also covers urban areas of Port-Au-Prince, the capital city of Haiti.
Process design in water treatment is historically confined to proprietary or user-defined spreadsheets on a unit operation basis, with users manually adding results from each unit process upstream into the next operation.
Multi-element, self-cleaning pretreatment filters optimize membrane filter life and production while minimizing maintenance and downtime.
Water quality test strips have been around for decades. They are usually constructed from a porous media, including different types of paper, and undergo a color change when dipped into water containing the analyte of interest. These test strips have seen application in swimming pools, aquariums, hot tubs, remediation sites, and other commercial/environmental areas.
Anaerobic digestion processes that radically improve the quality of wastewater while delivering green energy extracted from biological waste streams are emerging as a profitable way for agricultural and food processing industries cope with the twin impact of drought and pollution challenges.
More public and private resources than ever are being directed to protecting and preserving aquatic ecosystems and watersheds. Whether mandated for land development, farming, or in response to the growing severity and number of natural disasters, scientists from Drexel University found evidence that decades of watershed restoration and mitigation projects have taken place, but their impact is mostly perceived.
There are many different jobs related to tanks, but there are three types of jobs that can be considered together because they are more closely connected. These are the design, installation oversight, and "as-builts" design for both underground storage tanks (USTs) and above-ground storage tanks (ASTs). All three of these jobs, in the respective order above, should in reality be part of the same tank installation job.
Denver Water and engineering partners resolve major water quality challenge in crucial South Platte River exchange reservoirs.
In areas where water, infrastructure, and resources are scarce, a natural and novel solution has emerged — arriving out of thin air, so to speak.
The lessons of Flint should be well heeded, and lead mitigation continued, but the big-picture story of lead exposures in the U.S. is a tale of tremendous progress.
Most utilities understand they have a nonrevenue water problem, but few know how to deal with it correctly. Start by learning more about how the issue affects your utility and what options are available.
In most developed countries, drinking water is regulated to ensure that it meets drinking water quality standards. In the U.S., the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administers these standards under the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA).
Drinking water considerations can be divided into three core areas of concern:
Drinking Water Sources
Source water access is imperative to human survival. Sources may include groundwater from aquifers, surface water from rivers and streams and seawater through a desalination process. Direct or indirect water reuse is also growing in popularity in communities with limited access to sources of traditional surface or groundwater.
Source water scarcity is a growing concern as populations grow and move to warmer, less aqueous climates; climatic changes take place and industrial and agricultural processes compete with the public’s need for water. The scarcity of water supply and water conservation are major focuses of the American Water Works Association.
Drinking Water Treatment
Drinking Water Treatment involves the removal of pathogens and other contaminants from source water in order to make it safe for humans to consume. Treatment of public drinking water is mandated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the U.S. Common examples of contaminants that need to be treated and removed from water before it is considered potable are microorganisms, disinfectants, disinfection byproducts, inorganic chemicals, organic chemicals and radionuclides.
There are a variety of technologies and processes that can be used for contaminant removal and the removal of pathogens to decontaminate or treat water in a drinking water treatment plant before the clean water is pumped into the water distribution system for consumption.
The first stage in treating drinking water is often called pretreatment and involves screens to remove large debris and objects from the water supply. Aeration can also be used in the pretreatment phase. By mixing air and water, unwanted gases and minerals are removed and the water improves in color, taste and odor.
The second stage in the drinking water treatment process involves coagulation and flocculation. A coagulating agent is added to the water which causes suspended particles to stick together into clumps of material called floc. In sedimentation basins, the heavier floc separates from the water supply and sinks to form sludge, allowing the less turbid water to continue through the process.
During the filtration stage, smaller particles not removed by flocculation are removed from the treated water by running the water through a series of filters. Filter media can include sand, granulated carbon or manufactured membranes. Filtration using reverse osmosis membranes is a critical component of removing salt particles where desalination is being used to treat brackish water or seawater into drinking water.
Following filtration, the water is disinfected to kill or disable any microbes or viruses that could make the consumer sick. The most traditional disinfection method for treating drinking water uses chlorine or chloramines. However, new drinking water disinfection methods are constantly coming to market. Two disinfection methods that have been gaining traction use ozone and ultra-violet (UV) light to disinfect the water supply.
Drinking Water Distribution
Drinking water distribution involves the management of flow of the treated water to the consumer. By some estimates, up to 30% of treated water fails to reach the consumer. This water, often called non-revenue water, escapes from the distribution system through leaks in pipelines and joints, and in extreme cases through water main breaks.
A public water authority manages drinking water distribution through a network of pipes, pumps and valves and monitors that flow using flow, level and pressure measurement sensors and equipment.
Water meters and metering systems such as automatic meter reading (AMR) and advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) allows a water utility to assess a consumer’s water use and charge them for the correct amount of water they have consumed.